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It’s that time of the year again when my skin begins to itch and crack due to the drier weather. Instead of my usual routine of a cleansing foam (iUNIK’s Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam) with a sebum-control toner (Rohto Mentholatum’s Acnes Powder Lotion), I’ve switched to a cleansing paste, such as VILLAGE 11 FACTORY’s Refresh Cleanser GREEN, and a more moisturizing toner, such as the Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Moist. I’ve also changed from body lotions to body creams, and I use more sheet masks, hand cream and foot cream. While on the lookout for moisturizers that feel right for winter, I came across SOOFE’E’s Natura Birch Tree Moisturizing Essence and Cream.
SOOFE’E’s vibrant IG images featuring paper crafts and mini figurines were what initially drew my attention to the Korean brand, but it’d all be futile if the products weren’t substantial. Luckily, SOOFE’E has its own edge. The brand’s name comes from the Korean words for “in the woods.” Founded by SK Forest, which has owned a birch tree forest on Mount Indeung since 1972, SOOFE’E specializes in products featuring birch sap and birch leaf extract. Rich in minerals, amino acids and vitamins, these ingredients balance sebum levels and soothe and hydrate skin, while also offering anti-aging benefits. The birch sap is harvested from trees one week of every year around Danoh – the fifth day of the fifth month in the Korean lunar calendar – when the sap is richest in nutrients.
SOOFE’E currently offers an orange Moisturizing line, a green Soothing line, a white Healing line and a golden Pro line for intense nourishment. The Moisturizing range includes toner, essence, gel, lotion and cream, but I only tested out the essence and cream.
What is it:
A moisturizing essence formulated with 64% birch leaf extract and 20% birch sap, as well as Yellow-Moist Complex comprising of avocado, portulaca oleracea and brassica extracts, to keep skin supple.
First of all, look at the color – isn’t that gorgeous? Autumn is all about oranges, pumpkins, maple leaves, citrus fruits… just thinking about it makes my heart soar. The essence has tiny bubbles in it, but the texture is more on the watery side. It spreads and absorbs into skin incredibly well, leaving a matte and transparent finish. The most remarkable feature is its captivating lavender scent, which I hoped would last longer. I love how it doesn’t burden my skin, which means I can layer on thicker essences and creams, or apply makeup right after.
What is it:
A moisturizing cream enriched with 46% birch leaf extract and 20% birch sap, as well as Yellow-Moist Complex comprising of avocado, portulaca oleracea and coptis chinensis extracts, to keep skin supple.
The face cream comes in an attractive clear orange jar with a polished silver lid embossed with the brand name. The cream is slightly yellow – this is its original color and not a result of oxidation. I can immediately detect the presence of lavender oil in the product, not only from its aroma but also its texture. The lavender oil helps seal in moisture and immediately soothes itchiness.
Over the course of four weeks of using the essence and cream every night, I began to notice gradual improvement of my dry and sensitive skin. In addition to easing itchiness, the products helped lessen my wrinkles and plump up my skin, which are perks I didn’t expect.
It can be hard to switch to a new essence or cream when you already have some trusty ones, but the lavender scent of these two set them apart from the usual essences and creams. Most importantly, they didn’t irritate my skin and delivered as promised plus more. These are definite keepers for my regimen this season, and I hope you love them as much as I do!